President Pahor on an official visit to Romania: “For a better future for the EU, we cannot wait for others, we need to put ourselves on the line.”
Ljubljana, 15. 1. 2019 | press release
President Pahor introduces plans for the Brdo-Brijuni Process Summit in Tirana at the beginning of May and the Three Seas Initiative Summit in Ljubljana at the beginning of June to the Romanian Presidency of the European Union
At the invitation of the President of Romania, Klaus Werner Iohannis, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is on an official visit to Romania, which took over the Presidency of the European Union in January 2019.
An official reception with military honours in front of the presidential palace was followed by the signing of the presidential palace guestbook by the President of the Republic of Slovenia and a lengthy private discussion between the President of the Republic of Slovenia and the President of Romania. The visit continued with plenary discussions between the delegations of the Republic of Slovenia and Romania led by both presidents.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
The visit took place during the first month of the Romanian Presidency of the European Union; therefore, the President of Romania informed President Pahor in detail of the priorities of the presiding country and of preparations for the informal summit of leaders of Member States, which will be held in the Romanian town of Sibiu in May 2019. The goal of the Romanian Presidency is to ensure sustainable and fair growth for all EU Member States by promoting convergence, cohesion, innovation, digitalisation and connection – the motto of the Romanian Presidency is “Cohesion, a common European value”. Other priority topics include maintaining a safe Europe, strengthening the global role of the European Union and promoting common values. As the presiding country, Romania is focusing on the Western Balkans in terms of support for the European integration of the countries of the region, the Eastern Partnership, and on keeping the Black Sea Region and the Danube Region Strategy on the EU agenda.
President Pahor characterised today’s meeting as “a sign of our support for the presidency and an expression of our will to do everything in our power to enable Romania to do the most and the best possible, and to preserve faith and power and belief in a common European future in these very demanding six months”. He pointed out that Slovenia supports the priorities of the Romanian Presidency, and welcomes efforts for a strengthened enlargement perspective for all countries of the Western Balkans and a forecast of further intensive work on important open issues, such as the Brexit negotiations and the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–2027.
The discussion between the presidents was marked by two key topics: the future of the European Union and the Western Balkans. President Pahor initially stated: “I am glad that the president understands the significance of the Ljubljana Initiative, which is an expression of our desire to bring freshness to thinking about the European future. This is a draft of the new Constitution of the European Union and an idea for a new European constitutional process.”
President Pahor stated that he believed that the European Union could do better, and added that we must not “shift responsibility for this to others and wait for things to unfold by themselves, but that we must bravely put ourselves on the line”.
The presidents agreed that a powerful and connected European Union was important for the safety and welfare of people and for the stability of the international community.
In the press release, President Pahor announced the Brdo-Brijuni Process Summit to be held in Tirana at the beginning of May. In preparation for the Summit, President Pahor will hold discussions with the President Vučić of Serbia at the end of the month during his official visit to Serbia.
The President of the Republic of Slovenia emphasised good bilateral cooperation between the two countries in resolving the migration problem at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, when Romania posted two contingents of police officers to Slovenia to manage the migration problem. President Pahor has recently awarded them the Medal of Merit.
During the discussion, the presidents confirmed that economic relations between the two countries is good, but that there is plenty of room for improvement. President Pahor highlighted that numerous Slovenian companies see Romania as a market with great potential also on account of high economic growth in Romania and a positive economic forecast.
In 2017, the volume of trade in goods between the two countries amounted to EUR 799.5 million (16.6 per cent more than in 2016); the volume grew in 2018 as well, as trade in goods in the first nine months of 2019 amounted to EUR 805.3 million, which is 41.2 per cent more than in the same period in 2017.
President Pahor and President Iohannis also discussed the significance of regional cooperation, including the Three Seas Initiative, within which Slovenia will host a summit this year, while Romania organised a summit last year. The summit in Slovenia will be attended by a dozen of European leaders, and high representatives of the USA and the European Union. The presidents agreed that regional cooperation is an efficient cooperation mechanism and an instrument of innovative policy for resolving challenges, which could significantly contribute to establishing long-term bilateral contacts between institutions and experts.
Following discussions, President Pahor visited Carol Park, where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
In the course of the official visit, President Pahor met representatives of the business community yesterday, who connect Slovenia and Romania in the economic field.